Posted by Russ Irwin

Posted on 29th Feb, 2016

Restoring the Power of PassionWhether it is business or pleasure, life is about connecting with others and how these connections – or failures to connect – often determine our level of success and fulfillment. The purpose of relationships is to magnify human emotion and experience.

For this post, let’s look at our love relationships.

When we talk about relationships, there is probably no other word that contains as much emotion, joy, fear, uncertainty, and absolute fulfillment as this word. It doesn’t matter if we have a career or lots of money, without someone to share our life with at some level of relationship, our lives lack the fulfillment that we as humans have been designed to experience.

The challenge with relationships is that many people have a perspective and an expectation that leads them more toward what they can get out of a relationship rather than what they can give to it; and this one of the main areas we want to look at shifting.

Why Relational Mastery Is Difficult

In the number of years I have worked with coaching individuals and couples, I have discovered the majority are able to develop some form of mastery in their careers, health, or finance, but relational mastery seems to be more difficult.

Part of the reason is that you are dealing with the dynamics of different personalities, energy levels, maybe even a difference in values or hobbies. Another reason is that, while I have found most individuals love their partners and on some level know their partners love them, they still (sometimes on a subconscious level) face the two common fears that we all face:

  1. Am I enough?
  2. Will my partner love me unconditionally?

Both of these subconscious fears deal with the area of acceptance. So how do we deal with these two issues? How do we challenge some of the faulty fears and beliefs that can keep us from relational breakthrough?

Emotional Fitness

Emotional fitness begins with you taking an “Internal Inventory”. This is the willingness to be honest and vulnerable; it’s about taking ownership. It’s not about fixing yourself, but rather finally giving yourself permission to become yourself.

Breakthrough comes when we begin to walk in a healthy confident form of self-acceptance. Your emotional fitness is one of the best gifts you can give your partner, since it gives you the strength, confidence, and security that empowers you to be able to focus on your partner’s needs and not have to always focus on what you’re getting.

When we live with a “What can I get?” mindset, we become relational traders where our focus is on equity. In other words, I will give you something, but I need to get something back in return.

The truth is: life really doesn’t work that way.

To live an extraordinary life and have an extraordinary relationship, you need to begin to turn away from having a trader mindset. Marriage was never meant to be a transaction or a business agreement, and when we treat it that way our relationship loses its spark and passion.

So What Do I Do?

If you want to reconnect with your partner, you need to first reconnect with yourself in the area of identity and value. Be willing to take of the mask, move beyond the fictitious self, and begin to see yourself as a unique creation with specific gifts and talents that add value to the relationship.

The highest of the six human needs is the need to contribute. When we begin to contribute to the relationship, we break the chains of our past conditioning and past reference points, and we allow ourselves permission to step into freedom.

We cannot fully embrace one another until we’re willing to embrace ourselves. How true is the statement “We cannot give away what we don’t first possess”?

Life has a way of paying you what you expect from it. Yes, expect the best, but more importantly – become the best.


Irwin & Associates coaching will help you achieve lasting personal and professional transformations in alignment with your goals and dreams. Take your first step now at a complimentary consultation.

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Russ Irwin

About Russ Irwin

Russ is a highly sought after executive and business coach due to his unique qualifications and talents, including 17 years of entrepreneurial success, over 9 years of executive coaching experience, as well as a Ph.D. in Psychology and a Master’s in Behavioural Sciences. Russ is also an experienced international keynote conference and seminar speaker.